Skip to main content

tv   News Nation  MSNBC  March 14, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

2:00 pm
he has been tweeting and video jared will jn me live.eal. and the debate over gun control. president obama writes an opinion column on the issue two months after the tragedy in tucson. "newsweek" writer andrew romano will join me to talk about the president's words and ongoing battle over gun control. thanks for joining us. i'm tamron hall. "news nation" is following the still unfolding disaster and worsening nuclear crisis in japan. another explosion rocked the fukushima nuclear power plant that is about 170 miles north of tokyo. and it is now feared a third reactor will explode. officials say fuel rods appear to be melting right now in all three troubled reactors. all of this, of course, raising concerns more radiation will be released. the u.s. military moves some of its fleet further from japan's shore after some of the uss
2:01 pm
ronald reagan carrier group were exposed to a cloud of low-level radiation, this as authorities try to cope with the disaster. officials say another 1,000 bodies washed up today along japan's earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeast coast. so far 2,800 people confirmed dead. but as you well know by now, the final death toll is expected to increase to as many as possibly 10,000 the people. chris jansing joins us live from tokyo regarding the nuclear crisis. at the top of the hour i pointed out a japanese official is saying we are likely seeing melting at the plant that's been so much focused on. >> reporter: what we've had is for a second time a fuel rod explode at the plant that you talked about. they had done a last-ditch effort a hail mary pass if you will, by putting some sea water in there. it clearly has not worked, and
2:02 pm
that's raised concerns about a nuclear meltdown. concerns throughout the country about whether the whole story is coming out. this is one part of the picture, because this really is a growing nuclear, economic and, of course, humanitarian crisis. in that one village, 10,000 of 17,000 people are missing. 000 bodies, at least, reportedly washed up on shore today. help is coming in from literally all around the world. the japanese government reporting that 90 different countries have made offers of aid, including the united states. 15 countries are sending in those urban search and rescue teams, very experienced in crisis situations. the sad fact of the matter is, however, that in spite of a couple of rescues over the last 24 hours, a young child and around elderly man, both found alive, it is extremely unlikely
2:03 pm
that there are any more survivors still buried in the rubble. among those, you mentions the 17 americans who were aboard the" uss ronald reagan" military helicopter, crews exposed to radiation. so some of the ships in the pacific fleet moving away from the area. >> right. >> the u.s. is committed to continuing to help here. >> we'll have more on those sailor. i've got to ask you, you point out how much aid is coming in and how the japanese are receiving the aid, which had not been the case in the prior major earthquake in kobe. >> reporter: it's a very difficult situation here. this a country, it's an island, very self-sufficient, almost 99% of the people here are japanese. it is the strongest economy in asia. they have really a long history and reputation of pride in taking care of themselves. in fact they have deployed a massive military resource. but this is so broad and so
2:04 pm
deep, and there is still so much suffering tonight they are indeed accepting help in many instances, especially search and rescue teams. >> thank you very much. today president obama called japan one of our country's closest friends and ally. and again promises to help the devastated nation in its recovery. >> i've said directly to the prime minister of japan, prime minister kan, that the united states will continue to offer any assistance we can, as japan recovers from multiple disasters. >> a major part of that assistance pledged by the president, as we mentioned, is coming from the u.s. navy, which has rushed to action in an attempt to locate people still missing. about an hour augugo, more help expected to arrive in japan as early as yesterday. yesterday one helicopter put itself in harm's way, passing through a radiation cloud that exposed the crew to the equivalent of one month's worth
2:05 pm
of natural radiation in one hour. nbc's jim miklaszewski joins me live from the pentagon. so, mik, tell us more about what happened here and again the amount of exposure of radiation these men and women received. >> reporter: tamron, it was three u.s. navy helicopters conducting a search and rescue mission. about 60 miles off the coast of japan when the radioactive detectors on board set off the alarm, so the helicopters returned with the 17 crew men aboard, it was found they had been contaminated with a very fine radioactive particulate. they went through a scrubdown to be detonight tamnated which amounted to a quick bath for the helicopters and 17 crew members with soap and water essentially, and it was determined that they had been fully decontaminated and there was no serious threat. at the same time, the aircraft
2:06 pm
carrier "ron ald reagan" passes through another plume of radioactive material. it was low level. no need to scrub down the crew members. a short time ago the commander aboard the "ronald reagan" captain burke, put out a message worldwide that the crew of the enterprise is safe and healthy. >> mik, thank you for that update. perhaps the most urgent worry in japan, how to handle the threat of nuclear catastrophe. a second explosion rocked the fukushima site as technicians rushed to prevent total meltdown of areas where radiation has leaked. engineers are desperately trying to keep the situation uncontrol. how much worse can this situation get? a nuclear physicist and professor of international affairs at princeton university. you've been a very busy man, trying
2:07 pm
trying to process, first of all what we're hearing from the japanese and you have some people concerned we're not getting the entire story. >> my understanding there's a third reactor, which of course, has become uncovered and suffering core damage and the issue is when they can recover that core with water. >> what we're looking at, a graphic of what is supposed to happen here. i said earlier today we expect people to be nuclear experts and honestly we are understanding the technology. tell us what went wrong and what's happening now that we're hearing highly likely we're seeing melting. >> two things that went wrong. one that is the removal from the reactor building of the heat depends on pumps. and they lost power to the pumps. so then the water in the pressure vessel began to boil off and they have now, in two of the units, last i heard, they
2:08 pm
had brought in fire engines to basically top up these pressures to keep them full. >> seawater, correct? >> fire engines sucking water out of the sea. >> when we hear melting is happening, what does that mean? the fuel has released a lot of radioactivity already. >> in the steam? >> in the steam. then the problem is this is the containment building. it became overpressured with steam because it wasn't being cooled either. and so then they vented some of that steam and gas out, and that's the radioactivity that was detected downwind by the navy. >> as we know, evacuations and the navy personnel exposed said to be fine, but we keep hearing this is a low level of radiation exposure. >> quite a ways away. >> it's quite a ways away. >> that the navy was. i'd be interested in knowing how close the helicopter pilots
2:09 pm
were. >> what else would you like to know from the japanese officials about what's happening at this plant? >> i would like to know how they're doing with the unit number two. >> the cooling. >> whether they're succeeding in filling up the pressure vessel again and coving up the damaged fuel. >> if my numbers are correct, there's 23 similar units in the u.s. >> right. >> made by the same company there. what concern -- how or why should this be eye-opening about the reactors that exist here in the states? >> a long-term -- a long time concern about the containments of these reactors. and it was suggested after three mile island by some people, including myself, they should be equipped with filters, robust filters, when the venting occurs, that the venting would go through these filters and so with less radioactivity would be released. that was implemented in france and sweden but not in the united states. >> because of money? >> i think because of the
2:10 pm
utilities were resistant to spending money. >> we're waiting to see what happens next or what we hear next from japan and also, as you pointed out, this conversation comes closer to home, as we have 23 reactors similar to those now in crisis. thank you very much, frank. eight days after arriving in japan to start a new life, american jared lins witnessed the force of the earthquake firsthand. jared has been sharing his experience over twitter posting videos, the morning after the quake. >> i feel like i owe my life to the engineers that designed these buildings. i feel like i owe them my life. i really feel like i wouldn't be standing here right now. >> jared is living near tokyo. he spoke with "news nation" friday. he's with us again today via skype. how are you today?
2:11 pm
>> we're holding up and spirits are actually a little bit higher today, considering the circumstances. >> where are you now? >> the -- the apartment complex i'm staying is in the chiba prefecture southeast of tokyo. >> and what is it like outside your door? you're inside your apartment now but what does it look like outside your door? i understand you've been trying to in the middle of crisis, you're starting a new life, trying to help out others there? >> yeah, that's right. outside the door, the recovery efforts have already gone into full swing. we had a huge, like, backhoe-type machine that was doing jack hammering on a huge concrete slab that was displaced in front of our billing and they've got most of the concrete slab removed. this is a huge concrete slab. you can definitely tell that the government agencies and various
2:12 pm
construction teams are moving full force ahead to remove rubble, clean the streets, and a group of us from the entertainment complex here, where we're all staying, just decided to go out and see what we could do. we kind of noticed there's a real need to get the mud and sludge from the liquid faction effect up off 0 of the streets so we grabbed whatever we could, rakes, shovels, our barehands, and just kind of tried to find people that looked like they needed help, elderly people, really anybody clearing the stuff off 0 their driveways and sidewalks. you know, we helped them. and it it helps us feel a lot better about the situation. >> i was going to ask you that. you've been tweeting as well. you tweet you'd experienced 4.9
2:13 pm
aftershock that lasted 15 seconds. it happened after -- before you sent the tweet. you were on the phone with your girlfriend. i keep saying over and over, you were just there eight days. you don't have your footing and then this disaster happens. s that been tempting to leave? is your family or friends who are here in the states are they saying, come on, jared, you need to come back? >> yeah, a lot of them are saying that. and they're actually -- a handful of people who have decided to leave from e village, name of the housing complex where we live, and nobody is holding that against them. but from what we understand, most people are ending up leaving here and waiting at the airport. and so for a lot of us, the decision is just where would we rather wait? would we rather wait in a place where we have shelter, food. we have drinking water. we don't have running water but we have drinking water, and a
2:14 pm
bed. and, to me, i'd rather be stranded here if i'm going to be stranded than stranded an an airport where food is expensive to buy and that kind of thing. you know, that's sort of the motivation for people staying here. and since we've decided to stay, and we do have certain things that some people don't have, we're deciding to go out and help people. and, really, it's a two-way win for us because we're helping people but the activity and the exercise and the fresh air helps us as it helps anybody zbles appreciate you joining us in the midst of the crisis. we hope you and your team are safe. we'll keep check on you and check in to see how you're doing, because this has to be frightening, though you're putting on a courageous and
2:15 pm
helpful face to those there. stay with us for continuing coverage of disaster in japan. i'll talk with the ceo of americares, a team on the ground in japan. while the world is watching the disaster in, in the middle east, protesters clash with government forces. the latest from bahrain, where troops from other countries are now involved. plus, another person has died in a horrific bus crash in new york. could video surveillance provide clues into what really happen? president obama's no child left behind overhaul. what the president wants to keep in and take out of the controversial law. "news nation" is back in three. [ male announcer ] if you're only brushing, add listerine® total care for more complete oral care.
2:16 pm
♪ it works in six different ways to restore enamel, strengthen teeth, freshen breath, help prevent cavities, and kill bad breath germs for a whole mouth clean. so go beyond the brush with listerine® total care. the most complete mouthwash. and for visibly whiter teeth, try listerine® total care plus whitening. [ male announcer ] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front. adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you. ♪
2:17 pm
her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
2:18 pm
welcome back to "news nation." we continue to follow the latest out of japan. long lines are forming for
2:19 pm
drivers to get gas. the government has started rationing gas to prevent an energy shortage about we'll have the latest headlines from the nation in a few minutes. now to the latest in wisconsin, where an estimated 100,000 people turns out over the weekend after republicans pushed through a measure that eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public employees. protest was kept by the return of 14 democratic state senators who fled the state to prevent a vote on the measure. joining us via skype, mark miller. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> got to ask you, 100,000 people showing up, the largest crowd in fact, i saw one report say it was the largest crowd since vietnam protester showed up in your state. what do you make of the numbers, that's continue to increase and not die down? >> it's obvious this issue of protecting workers' rights touched a nerve among the wisconsin electorate. i'm old enough to have been here during the vietnam area.
2:20 pm
i don't remember seeing anything like that. the difference was these people were protesting and cheering us on behalf of themselves, which was different than vietnam. i have to tell you, it was mind boggling. people, as we walked up, people would touch us, they had tears in their eyes, they were thanking us. it was -- everybody recognized this the first phase. >> if this is the first phase, what happens next? >> well, the governor, while we were gone, the governor introduced an amazing budget, one that is cutting our schools, municipal services, our environmental programs. wisconsin is known for its strong environmental record where the state of john muir, of gaylord nelson and one program after another has been cut. mandatory recycling has been cut. the most dangerous thing is the amount of cuts to both k-12 education as well as the university of wisconsin. we'll be back and fighting that.
2:21 pm
>> in addition to that, obviously, the other big headline is that the democrats want to recall some of the republicans and, quite honestly, vice versa there. you're looking at perhaps people using their vote to -- i don't like to say this -- but to get even where they fell they've been wronged. >> you know, that groundwork was laid while we were gone. eight of the democrats are subject to recall, eight of the democratic senators. eight republican senators are subject to recall. it's half of the senate. so if those recall petitions are successful it looks like we'll have a referendum on governor walker. >> before i let you go, senator, i'm told that you have a family member, perhaps a child, who is in japan right now? >> yeah. i was very worried. my son and daughter-in-law and their infant child were in japan for a funeral of my son's mother-in-law, and so we were concerned. they arrived there just after --
2:22 pm
just before the disaster struck. the amount of devastation is incredible. they're fine. and i wish that there were more people that were okay. our hearts go out to the people of japan. >> do you know when your family will be able to return? are they coming back to the states soon? >> travel plans have been changed. it's good to know they're safe. >> right. >> we've got family there, sole so they'll be okay. >> thank you very much for sharing their story as well as the update of your situation. democratic state senator mark miller, thank you. president obama's calling on congress to rewrite the nation's main education law before the start of a new school year. the president spoke for the need for an improved version of no child left behind. during a visit to a virginia middle school today, the president says the revamp would increase accountable for schools, focus attention on students in specific need of help. >> in the 21st century, it's not
2:23 pm
enough to leave no child behind. we need to help every child get ahead. we need to get every child on a path to academic excellence. >> the president also wants the update -- the updated law to provide quality teachers in every classroom and get the necessary resources to schools with poor performance records. >> hours after a second explosion at a japanese nuclear plant, officials are releasing radioactive steam to keep pressure at bay. they say the steam is not dangerous. but how can we be sure? i'll talk with jeff corwin about the disaster's impact on the environment. fears of a meltdown have reignited the debate tht states over nuclear energy. still ahead, how the politics of nuclear power is making for its uncertain future. [ male announcer ] unrestrained. unexpected. and unlike any hybrid you have ever known.
2:24 pm
♪ introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. ♪ the radically new, 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. ♪ welcome to the darker side of green. if anything, i thought i'd get hit by a bus, but not a heart. my doctor put me on an aspirin regimen to help protect my life. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. check with your doctor
2:25 pm
because it can happen to anybody. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex,
2:26 pm
increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at plus, get the best deal or we'll pay you $1,000. call lending tree at... today.
2:27 pm
welcome back, everyone, to "news nation." amazing, new satellite pictures coming in showing devastation in japan. this picture is of the fukushima nuclear plant in 2004. here what happens it looks like now. you can see the destruction and dark mud left behind by the tsunami. these pictures are courtesy of google. incredible vantage point. rebels losing ground in libya tops stories around "news nation." gadhafi's tanks have just reached the town to the west of tripoli and are rolling toward the center. secretary of state hillary clinton is in paris to discuss imposing a no-fly zone over libya, which the arab league has asked for. shocking video out of bahrain. riot police fire rounds of tear gas at crowds standing directly in front of them. the united arab emirates announced they're joining saudi arabia in sending police to help calm tensions there. new york city, death toll
2:28 pm
climbed to 15 people in the gruesome bus crash. the bus veered off the road into a sign post which peeled off the roof like a can. the driver originally claimed a truck sideswiped him but investigators are checking video to in fact see if that happened. and a man gunned down four police officers in virginia killing two, leaving one with life-threatening injuries. officers were investigating a robbery. the suspect was also killed in the gun battle. p.j. crowley has resigned over controversial comment his made about wikileaks suspect private bradley manning. crowley confirmed he told students at an m.i.t. seminar the treatment of manning was stupid. it's been two months since the mass shooting in arizona that left gabrielle giffords critically wounded. president obama is calling for stricting gun laws. reaction next. first, a look at some of the faces of the destruction in japan.perfect. crisp, clear, untouched.
2:29 pm
that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita. you can do this... get the ball, girl. hmmm, you can't do that. but you can do this. bengay pain relief + massage with penetrating nubs plus the powerful pain relief of bengay. love the nubs! her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
2:30 pm
2:31 pm
[ male announcer ] ten people are going to win the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at to enter without a blue onstar button.
2:32 pm
welcome back to "news nation." the latest on the disaster in japan. a second explosion rock a nuclear power plant 170 miles north of tokyo, and there are fears a third reactor could explode. officials say fuel rods in all three troubled reactors at the plant appear to be melting. so far they've just indicated low levels of radioactive steam have leaked. nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated. officials are struggling to provide food, water, medicine and critical supplies to the earthquake and tsunami ravaged area in northern japan. people are now coping with the fourth night in darkness, with temperatures near freezing. meantime, officials now say the number of people who may in the end have lost their likes in this disaster could reach 10,000. and a t-shirt company in hawaii is trying to help earthquake victims by selling
2:33 pm
the shirt the red sun incorporated into the word al a aloha. it made 600 shirts and received 10,000 orders so far. the shirts are selling for $20. with thousands missing, millions without power or clean drinking water and food rationings dwindling, search and rescue teams in japan, the hard road ahead of them. success or failure of the aide workers determine who survives in the coming days. joining me, kurt welling, president and ceo of americares, an expert on 0 responding to international disasters. you have a team of three on the ground in japan? >> yeah, we have -- we sent a team over on sunday, and as it should be right now the focus is on search and rescue, trying to fine as many people as possible and deal with their immediate needs. at the statement time there's a comprehensive, intensive humanitarian planning effort on
2:34 pm
the ground. >> it's still unstable, aftershocks. >> first things for them to be safe. second thing is to find a way to coordinate as effectively as possible with as many different people acting. when you're on the ground in an emergency of this magnitude after the event it's chaos, and so your first responsibility is to try to find a way to sort through the chaos. >> how do they do that? mobile service, for example, people are trying to find loved ones. how do you organize when communicating is so very difficult? >> yeah. the communication service is slowly restored in the affected area. there's a staging area, which in tokyo, where the coordination is going on and of course the government of japan, as we're learn, is the best organized and one of the most disciplined governments in the world and was well-prepared although perhaps not even they anticipated the magnitude of this problem. >> we look at video we know there are videos you can't reach at this point, still under water. that has to add, certainly,
2:35 pm
obviously, to the difficulty in reaching and getting help to people. how $your organization deal with that? do you focus on smaller areas? >> the question of access is different in every emergency. one of the very difficult things about earthquake followed by soon is the search and rescue effort candidly ends up being fairly short because the death is instantaneous and so it's unlikely, after a small period of time, that you're going to find many people. but you will find pockets of displaced people. so the focus then becomes identifying where there are displaced people and getting essential services to them as quickly as possible. >> obviously the other concern that we've been discussing through the hour the nuclear crisis. radiation levels are said to be low according to japanese official but was we know even u.s. soldiers on the "uss ronald reagan" going in to help were exposed to low levels of radiation. what have you told your team members on the ground in japan regarding that crisis and the possible threat? >> two elements to that.
2:36 pm
first, for them to be safe, so to excuse caution. the government of japan is being extremely cautious of allowing anyone near the potential containment area for the nuclear plants. but if there were to be more of a nuclear event therein that has been, and it's important to say there hasn't been evidence of a serious nuclear release or meltdown, if there were to be such a thing the affected area would be larger and the medical crisis would be very much more severe. >> on a personal standpoint, you've covered a number of major large-scale crisis. when you look at this video, how do you process what you're seeing? >> first thing that one is struck by is the power of these natural phenomena and how you can't have watched images of cars and boats and people being washed miles inland without being humbled by the magnitude of the power. and then, of course, the next immediate next thought is hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people are being
2:37 pm
displaced, are going to be in crisis, thousands, perhaps 10,000 will lose their lives. so it brings you back to the reason why organizations like ours exist which is to try to find as many people in the path of this thing that need help and get them the medicines and medical supplies they need to survive. >> curt welling with americares. several organizations were raising money for the earthquake tsunami victims. if you'd like to help, text redcross to 90999 to donate $10. also text japan or quake to 80888 to donate $10 to the salvation army. the tsunami that followed what japan says was a 9.0 earthquake greatly eroded part of the coastline. msnbc science and environmental expert jeff corwin joins me to talk about that. first your thoughts on the low-level radiation leaking into the atmosphere and the steam, at this point, japanese officials
2:38 pm
say it's not a major threat but we know, according to one official, the rods are likely melting at this nuclear plant. >> right. >> what is your assessment of the environmental concerns there? >> well, right now what we're hearing is actually solid news. it's okay news. basically the venting process is a way for them to try to distribute the heat that's building up inside the reactor to prevent an explosion, unlike something like chernobyl, which happened over 20 years ago, that was a genuine explosion. there may be trace elements of radiated materials inside that vapor. if they keep it at that level, stabilize the reactor, we'll get a much more positive outcome. >> you covers the gulf oil spill days upon days that we watched that and wonders long-term effects of what we were seeing. obviously the same question being asked here that no one has the answer to at this point. you've focuses in on what this did to the earth, incredible. >> remarkable. okay. keep this in mind, that
2:39 pm
basically every year japan and other continents, through this process called plate tectonic shift, the continents are free floating like puzzle pieces. so normally it would move an inch a year. 13 feet in a matter of seconds. basically time traveled 157 years in movement which is quite remarkable. it just gives you an indication of the full force and the power of our planet's gee zbloology. >> expert says we have to ask what is next, obviously people focus on california, the ring of fire, and what this could possibly -- what could be around the corner for us. >> absolutely. these tend not to be singular events. you have earthquakes that happens in the beginning, then you get the major quake, and then you get aftershocks. so it's almost like a ripple effect. we like to think of the earth as
2:40 pm
terra firma, something solid and, as you say, it wakes and moves beneath our feet. >> it did that. thank you. more on the nuclear crisis unfolding in japan and the concerns raised about nuclear power plans right here in the states. listen to this. currently 104 nuclear power plans operating in 31 states across the country. take a look at that map. likely your home states on there. 31 plants have similar reactors to the ones in trouble in fukushima at the plant in tokyo. and they were all designed by general electric, part owner of msnbc, and joining me now, michael smerconish also an msnbc contributor. people want to rank these fears and the concerns and you say, is it as bad as three mile island? is it has bad as chernobyl. we know about expert accounts this has not come to the point of chernobyl. some debated where it stands with three mile island. it as u.s. senators weighing in on nuclear power.
2:41 pm
i want to play what three u.s. senators said over the weekend in the debate. >> i'm still willing to look at nuclear, as i've always said it has to be done safely and carefully. >> i don't want to stop building of nuclear power plans but i think we've got to quietly, quickly put the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in japan as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami. >> this discussion reminds me somewhat of the conversations that were going on after the bp oil spill last year. i don't think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making american domestic policy. >> so, michael, what do you think of the debate now regarding nuclear plants and if we should put a hold or, as senator lieberman said, put the brakes on it for a while? >> we've been debating senator lieberman's statement on my program today, and interestingly, among callers and people who have voted on my website, senator mcconnell seems
2:42 pm
to be carrying the day. people saying let's not make a rash decision. our future is very much headed in this direction, or so we thought, up until the events of this weekend. and maybe we just need to allow the zudust to settle before we make any snap decisions about where we're going. i had senator steven chew, the energy secretary on the program friday before events of japan crit talized. when i said to him, where does our future lie he gave me a menu of options but at the top of the list, nuclear pow. >> we know president has pushed for our focus to switch to nuclear power. we are hearing it's clean energy. but you have others who say there's no such thing, especially when you see potential it can bring, as far as disasters are related. it's interesting how reaction area one can be. in switzerland they suspended plans for new nuclear plants. it's human nature when you see
2:43 pm
something bad you want to correct it for fear what could be down the road. >> we have a tendency of public officials to be showing they are doing something. what would doing something be? put the brakes on the future. i remember well three mile island, because it happened in my home state in 1979. i remember the aftermath and there were no newly commissioned facilities brought online since 1979. some of those that were in the works were delayed, and then they came into being. but i guess what i'm saying is i don know we want to have a repeat like a total shutdown, as we had post-three mile island. >> an incredible day. march 28, 1979. thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. >> have a great day. >> for the latest information and video from japan, logon to ♪ i have clients say it's really hard to save for the future and they've come to a point where it's overwhelming. oh gee, i'm scared to tell you
2:44 pm
i've got this amount of credit card debt or i've got a 15-year-old and we never got around to saving for their college. that's when i go to work. we talk, we start planning. we can fix this. when clients walk out of my office they feel confident about their retirement. [ male announcer ] visit and put a confident retirement more within reach. [ male announcer ] visit navigating today's real estate market is complicated. you've seen the signs. that's why having the right real estate agent is more important than ever. at, you can find experts in short sales or bank-owned properties or commercial real estate, agents who can help speed up the process, no matter how intricate. and that's good news, whether you're trying to sell or hoping to buy. because the only sign you really want to see is "sold." nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today. the smell of warm maple syrup. honeysuckle and rosemary. the smell of shaving cream.
2:45 pm
whatever scents fill your household, purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes... giving you just what you need to keep your house smelling like it should. purina tidy cats scoop. keep your home smelling like home. what can you do with plain mashed potatoes? when you pour chunky beef with country vegetable soup over it, you can do dinner. 4 minutes, around 4 bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.™ of some of the annoying symptoms menopause brings. go it's one a day menopause formula. the only complete multivitamin with soy isoflavones to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula.
2:46 pm
i'm martin bashir. coming up at the top of the
2:47 pm
hour, more on the looming nuclear problem in japan. we hear from a nuclear physicist who studies the plant where three reactors are in serious jeopardy of meltdown. sunday, president obama called for a specific policy move on gun control, in an op-ed the president wrote for the arizona daily star. quote, we should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers. in over two months since the deadly shooting in tucson, more than 2400 americans have died from gunshots. andrew romano, senior writer for "newsweek," he wrote about the subject in the latest edition. what i find incredible, you've been working on the story for several weeks. you had contacted the white house, wanting more specifics as to why the president had not come out stronger after the horrible shooting in tucson that involved wo involved congresswoman giffords
2:48 pm
and you make of the timing? >> i can't say it's a coincidence. obama paid lip service. we have been working on the article for three or four weeks. >> what do you mean by paid lip service? >> he had a bunch of advisers saying obama will weigh in at some point he might give a speech, but nothing materialized. this is a difficult issue for democrats, and obama's reluctant to wade into the gun debate with 2012 approaching. >> being the leader holds an exceptional position but you point out in your article, it is not just the president who has been reluctant to weigh in on this. it boils down to a lot with money. the nra, 2.4 million or 41 times what the other side was spending in the last election psych until 2008 alone. so the nra has money, according to your reporting and what we know on its side the nra the most powerful lobby in washington. fox decades outspending the
2:49 pm
advocates. what we say in the article is that right now is a time the politics could change and could get modest, simple reforms through, not taking guns away from people. >> but doing what? >> two things. one, making sure background checks are comprehensive. a lot of holes in the system. >> which is what the president mentions in the op-ed. >> right. revising a plan on these extended clips that jared loughner used in tucson, why he was able to shoot 31 bullets instead of 10. >> outrage of the the shooting when people said, why would you need a clip that would carry that many rounds of ammunition. >> right. studies show private gun ownership does help keep people safe but there's no reason someone needs to shoot 31 shots right away. frankly, we had this ban in place for ten years and gun owners did not suffer from it. so the question now is whether we can revive that. >> and comparing what you were
2:50 pm
wright the subject and the reaction to what we saw and read from the president hour, do you compare what he is saying to those who want better gun control? >> he's come out for limited measures. he's talked about one aspect but more needs to be done than just making sure the background system is comprehensive. the extended clips are obviously a problem. >> wish we had more time. thank you for coming on and talking about this. the article is called -- it's in "newsweek," headline "2,405 people shot dead since tucson "s. horrible images bringing up powerful memories for some. >> for me, when i see the footage of what happened in japan, the sounds and the smells come back to me. >> that, of course, talk show host nate burkesurvived the tsunami in asia. how the new disaster is affecting him and other survivors. no problem. td ameritrade has all kinds of answers. call us. for quick help opening your new ira. or an in-depth talk
2:51 pm
with a retirement expert. like me. stop by my branch for a free retirement check-up. retirement hows and how-muches? whens... and what-ifs? bring 'em on. it's free. you're gonna retire. and we're gonna help. retirement answers at td ameritrade. where millions of people trust their retirement investments. with snakes and boogeymen. and no cartoons. but she got out, right, mommy? no. she was stuck in there for 100 years all by herself. that's why we never take mommy and daddy's strawberry cheesecake temptations. okay! bedtime. [ male announcer ] six indulgent layered desserts at 150 calories or less. new temptations. it's the first jell-o that's just for adults. you've been stuck in the garage, while my sneezing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here and the pollen outside.
2:52 pm
but with 24-hour zyrtec®, i get prescription strength relief from my worst allergy symptoms. it's the brand allergists recommend most. ♪ lily and i are back on the road again. where we belong. with zyrtec®, i can love the air®.
2:53 pm
welcome back to "news nation." the video coming out of japan is
2:54 pm
simply heartbreaking. we see pictures, the waves racing at 40 miles per hour and try to imagine what it would be like to face that wall of water. for survivors of the 2004 south asia tsunami it certainly brings back powerful and painful memories. here's nbc's kate snow. >> reporter: few people know what it's like to survive something like this. few know the raging power of a tsunami. but the czech-born super model and tv talk show host nate berkus know it all too well. in disease 2004, petra and her boyfriend were vacationing in thailand. you saw the sea going out? >> i seen that and i wished that i would know that was the sign of a tsunami coming in. >> reporter: but like almost everyone else on the beach, the couple had no idea what was coming. they went back to their beach hut. >> do you hear the wave coming? >> no.
2:55 pm
and in a second, the wave comes in and breaks the walls of the bungalow, breaks all of the glass. >> reporter: the water swept the couple far from their bungalow, the surf so high, petra able to reach up and grab a branch on a palm tree and hold on. >> for me, when i see the footage of what's happened in japan, the sounds and the smells come back to me. >> reporter: on that same day in 2004, nate berkus and his partner, fernando, were on vacation in sri lanka when the tsunami rolled in. >> the first thing that i heard was the sounds of structures, trees, things collapsing and snapping, and within 30 seconds of that i was pinned underneath the bed. really the scariest part of surviving a tsunami is what you're in the water with. it's like a soup of bodies and babies and the most horrible things that you can imagine. the last time i saw fernando, we were attached to a telephone
2:56 pm
pole. i remember saying to him, what is this? we thought perhaps it was a tidal wave. we had no idea. and he said, but it's over now, it's over now. and as soon as he said that, the water changed direction again and that was the last time i saw him. >> reporter: as for petra, she clung to that tree for eight long hours, her pelvis shattered. eventually she was rescued, hospitalized for weeks. sadly, she was never able to find her boyfriend either. petra feels a deep kinship with the victims in japan right now. >> my heart goes to everyone in japan. >> reporter: she hopes to help survivors after the 2004 tsunami, she created the happy hearts fund which builds schools for children after natural disasters strike. >> if children can go back to school, which is safe, they can go back to normalcy, they can start the healing process. >> that was kate snow reporting. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. we'll be back tomorrow at 2:00.
2:57 pm
martin bashir is up next. [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are switching from tylenol to advil. take action. take advil. save on advil with our special coupon in select newspapers on march 27th. save on advil with our special coupon how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? how about eating soup to get there? campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
2:58 pm
crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita.
2:59 pm
reduce lead and other impurities but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at...


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on